August 29, 2020 -
Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of CPC(M-L)
Paid at the Party Memorial in Beechwood Cemetery
• 50th Anniversary of the Party Press
Permanent Resident Status for All!
Day of Action in Defence of the Rights of All
• Activists Call Out Legault Government on
"Special Program" for Asylum Seekers
• Migrant Workers Speak Out
Government's Permanent Residence Program for
of Asylum Seekers
Immigration Minister Marco
the Federal Government's
"Historic and Significant"
Quebec Announces Special Program
for Asylum Seekers
During the COVID-19 Period
from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
75th Anniversary of
Vietnam's August Revolution
and National Day
Celebration Held in Toronto
• Online Celebration to Be Held September
Worldwide Support for the
and Their Right to Be
• Thousands Around the World Join the
Days of Resistance for Palestine
- Samidoun -
Photo Review August 8-28
• U.S. People's Movement Against Racism,
Impunity and Inequality Does Not Relent
Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of CPC(M-L)
On the occasion of the 50th
anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Canada
(Marxist-Leninist), on August 15, 2020, a delegation of the Central
Committee of CPC(M-L) led by its First Secretary and National Leader,
visited the Party Memorial at Beechwood Cemetery in Vanier. The
Memorial represents the modern democratic personality the Party has
given rise to. Its beauty conveys the profound respect of all Party
members and fellow-travellers as well as family members of those whose
sacrifice advanced the cause of modern communism.
Floral tributes were presented by Party organizations, individuals and
family members who came to pay their respects and express their social
love for Comrade Hardial Bains and all those Party members who have
passed away and whose names are inscribed on the monument.
The Party's leadership also accompanied a delegation from the Quebec
Committee of CPC(M-L) and a delegation of the Outaouais Regional
Committee as they paid respects. In the afternoon a delegation from
Ontario paid the respects of the Ontario Committee, followed by a
representative from BC and two from Nova Scotia, as well as family
The Party was also honoured to receive a
delegation from the Embassy of Cuba in Ottawa led by Her Excellency
Ambassador Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, a delegation from the Embassy of
Vietnam in Ottawa led by His Excellency Ambassador Pham Cao Phong, and
the Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Venezuela in Ottawa,
Luis Acuña. Each presented a floral tribute in honour of
Comrade Bains and other comrades, listened to explanations of the lives
and contributions of the comrades whose names are on the monument.
A floral tribute was also placed at the
Memorial on August 21 in honour of two Party members from Montreal who
were taken from us by COVID-19 this spring, founding Party member Peter
Macrisopoulos and long-time activist Miguel Céspedes Pino.
joined Hardial Bains and Marxist-Leninist youth in Montreal in 1968-69,
even before the founding of the Party, to fight against state-organized
racist attacks against the Quebec people and attempts to suppress the
struggle the workers were waging in the late sixties. He was a founding
member of the Intellectuels et Ouvriers Patriotes du Quebec (IOPQ) in
November 1969 and of CPC(M-L) in March 1970.
Committee recognized Peter's contribution by presenting him
posthumously with the Party's 50th Anniversary Award for championing
the cause of the Greek working class and people all his life and the
cause of the Quebec and Canadian working class since he came to Canada
after World War II. The award recognizes Peter's fidelity to the cause
of the Party and communism as well as his valiant stands when the Party
and he himself were persecuted by the state in the early seventies. It
was his life's work to unite all workers, no matter what their national
origin as one class with one program, in defence of minority rights and
the rights of all and for the recognition of the Quebec nation and its
right to self-determination.
The Party deeply
mourns his death in the COVID-19 pandemic and condemns the callous and
cynical attitude of the Quebec and federal governments towards those
who have sacrificed their lives to look after the well-being of the
society and its members. It is their social irresponsibility that
directly led to Comrade Peter's death in a seniors' home, not COVID-19.
It is unforgivable. The memory of Peter and his deeds live on in all of
Miguel Céspedes Pino was a proud Quebec communist of Chilean
origin. After leaving Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship, he held
high the flag of communism and anti-imperialist solidarity and
participated in the fight of his two homelands for the rights of all to
his dying day. Miguel also succumbed to COVID-19 and his loss is deeply
mourned by his family, his friends, his comrades and all those whose
lives he so gently and profoundly touched.
fitting memorial to both comrades will be held at the Party
headquarters in Montreal once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted
August 24, 2020
24 with great sadness flowers were also laid at the Party memorial in
honour of Comrade Hardial Bains who passed away that day 23 years ago.
Despite his immense loss, members of the Outaouais Branch of the Party
pointed out that the life of the Party remains vibrant and imbued with
the strength of his legacy, and continues to inspire all those who are
working to open society's path to progress and usher in peace, freedom
and democracy. The Party shows us that the conditions of retreat of
revolution are difficult, but not impossible, they said. With
this spirit they expressed greetings and social love on the part of the
Quebec Committee of CPC(M-L) to the Party's First Secretary, National
Leader and Central Committee.
delegations visit the Party Memorial which holds high the contribution
of all those whose names are inscribed on it. What is more, it pays
tribute to the modern personality of those who put real life as the
basis of our development and take up Contemporary Marxist-Leninist
Thought as a guide. This personality instinctively gravitates towards
communism and respects the communist and revolutionary leaders the
world over -- those whose hallmark is their participation in changing
society in favour of the peoples. This personality uses Marxism as a
guide to action, never as a replacement for profound activity in real
Comrade Bains pointed out that such a
personality is not accidental; it is not a personality which humankind
gives rise to only once in a while. Far from it, our Party and The Internationalists
before it, has always strived hard to create this personality. Since
the sixties, giving rise to this personality was put on the agenda and
a line of march has been followed in order to nurture such a
personality. This has not been left to chance. It is the result of
organized, planned activity which opens society's path to progress so
as to emancipate the working class and all of humankind.
The Party's Deed Is Its Word!
Long Live the Party of Hardial Bains!
See In Memoriam here.
marked the 50th anniversary of the press of the Communist Party of
Canada (Marxist-Leninist). This press is a powerful weapon in the hands
of the working class to organize itself in defence of its own
interests. This year on September 1, we also mark the 35th anniversary
of the mass Party press and mass non-Party press, two kinds of
journalism indispensable for the building of the working class movement
for its own emancipation.
Based on a profound
appreciation of the Party's experience, the Central Committee held an
important meeting in mid-August with leading cadre of the Workers'
Centre of CPC(M-L) to discuss the significance of analyzing unfolding
events and to set guidelines to further strengthen the Party press.
Present at the meeting were also leading cadre of the Quebec Committee
of CPC(M-L) and of the communist youth. The meeting also saluted the
Party on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. The main presentation
was on the topic: The Significance of Analyzing Unfolding Developments
which was further elaborated by those present in the form of drawing
warranted conclusions to guide the work in the coming period.
The work to strengthen the mass Party press at this time is a
key component of the work CPC(M-L) has undertaken during this period of
retreat of revolution. The COVID-19 pandemic is taking place within the
context of a vicious neo-liberal anti-social offensive and it is being
used by the ruling class to escalate this offensive against the working
class and people. The working class has engaged the bourgeoisie in a
trial of strength and it has the Party and the Party press at its
The bourgeoisie controls all forms of
media at this time, both print and audio-visual. Besides being highly
monopolized, this media is extremely retrogressive and an obstacle to
opening society's path to progress. The Party press shows that the
working class can have its own voice under these conditions. The
bourgeoisie not only does not want the working class to have its own
voice but it does not even want its vanguard, CPC(M-L), to exist as the
organized expression of the working class aim to constitute the nation
and vest sovereignty in the people. In this respect, CPC(M-L) has
overcome many obstacles the bourgeoisie has put in its path in the
past, and continues to do so today. It does not permit the voice of the
working class to be silenced and it makes sure this plays a decisive
role to open society's path to progress.
Celebration of commissioning of the new printing press, July 5, 1990.
Speaking in 1990 when the Party commissioned a new printing
press, CPC(M-L) leader Hardial Bains pointed out that the mass Party
and non-Party press have the key advantage over the bourgeois press
because both are forward-looking, working to open the path for the
progress of society. "For this reason, this press has a future just as
the working class has a future and so does its vanguard," Hardial
"As CPC(M-L) carries out its work to
establish groups of writers and disseminators, the mass Party press is
consolidated and it becomes invincible. CPC(M-L) is directing all its
efforts to ensure that the groups of writers and disseminators are
established and strengthened," Hardial emphasized.
In this vein, the
meeting called by the Central Committee with leading cadre of the
Workers' Centre and held in mid-August discussed the work required to
increase the participation of the workers in reading, writing and
distributing Workers' Forum in a manner which ends
the marginalization of the working class and vulnerable sections of the
people at this crucial time when the bourgeoisie seeks to control
everything to its own advantage. With regard to the mass Party press,
the meeting decided that at this time, the immediate task is to
establish all the links necessary in the class and acquire the
competence required to develop the consciousness and organization of
the advanced sections of the class, along with the wherewithal to
extend this consciousness and organization to the broad sections of the
class. In keeping with the theoretical and ideological considerations
which gave rise to the formation of Groups of Writers and
Disseminators, this work to strengthen the Party press must be based on
the strength of the class itself. There is no short-cut or by-pass to
get around the fact that the working class must be the instrument of
its own emancipation and the need for the Party, as the most advanced
section of the class, to provide the class with the required
consciousness and organization. The Party relies on the Groups of
Writers and Disseminators to strengthen the mass Party press and it has
taken practical measures to strengthen this work.
Celebration, August 31,
1986, of one year of building the mass Party press and non-Party press.
It is incumbent on the communists, class conscious workers and
all progressive and democratic forces to step up this work in order to
make sure they succeed in turning things around at this time in favour
of the working people, not the rich.
of mastheads of the publications of Groups of
Writers and Disseminators.
Since the Party paid first-rate attention to
developing the mass Party press and non-Party press in 1985, it has
carried out broad and ongoing work to give rise to a new journalism
that can serve the needs of the working class and broad masses of the
people for enlightenment and social progress. At that time, it was
analyzed that the working class must take measures to win the middle
strata over to its side and break the stranglehold of the bourgeoisie
over this section of society. The Party gave rise to a form of
journalism which serves the need for enlightenment and social
Since the 8th Party Congress, the
Party leadership has paid specific attention to making sure that
concrete arrangements are put in place which strengthen the Party
publications. In particular, it has taken measures whereby Party
activists constitute themselves as Groups of Writers and Disseminators
and take up fields of writing and related activities such as reporting
on the working class movement; investigating and reporting on the
conditions of the working class, both in general and in different
sectors of the economy. Through the Party press, the Party and its
Workers' Centre have issued statements, analyses, commentaries and
views, presenting the positions of the Party on all the issues of
importance to both the working class and society in general, in both
national and international areas of concern.
this time, the bourgeoisie is attacking society with a vengeance,
targeting in particular the forward-looking view that society should
provide for the well-being of all its members. The bourgeoisie is not
merely defending the status quo and refusing to move forward. It is not
merely refusing to extend the provision of health care and education
and other needs such as daycare and old-age security. It has destroyed
the very conception of justice, fairness and the social responsibility
of governments to do their duty towards members of the polity. By
passing legislation based on the medieval view that every individual
should fend for herself or himself, even the limited conception of
social responsibility that had become the norm in Canada is trampled
These developments which are taking
place reflect the deep crisis of capitalism, a crisis in which the
capitalists and the state as the private treasurer of the capitalist
class as a whole cannot generate the levels of revenue that are
required to service the insatiable demands of the oligopolies for
investments and for the specific types of infrastructure they require
at this time. This is why the ruling circles do not adequately fund
those areas of spending which are related to the health, education and
social welfare of the people. In the same way, no matter how much
richer the rich become as a result of governments' pay-the-rich
schemes, the workers are submitted to intensified exploitation in the
name of "prosperity." Meanwhile, the policies of cartel parties of the
establishment are inseparable from the aim of preserving the capitalist
system. Whether "Conservative," "Liberal," or "Social-Democrat," they
have been compelled by these objective developments to become the open
spokespersons and agents for social retrogression.
these conditions, where the ruling circles are pushing society
backwards, the achievements of the Party in the field of journalism for
enlightenment are a great accomplishment, as is having created the
conditions for the same flourishing of the journalism of the working
class to take place. Both need to be developed to the maximum to have
the advanced positions of the working class in the dominant position in
society. Both the mass Party press and non-Party press have critical
roles to play.
Display from the 44th
anniversary of the Party and mass party press, August 23, 2014.
The mass Party press, as the voice of the working
class, is an important instrument in the movement of the working class
to create the conditions for its own emancipation and open the path for
society's progress. The Party also created the mass non-Party press
whose partisanship is to the movement for enlightenment and for the
progress of society. In this regard, its content and editorial policy
reflect the concerns of the people and, in a manner of speaking, it
sets the agenda for society by determining which issues are in fact
matters of concern and by eliminating or rejecting all those things
which are diversionary and irrelevant.
partisanship of the mass Party press is to the working class and the
leading role of the working class over the entire society. It is
dedicated to providing the class with the consciousness and
organization commensurate with its revolutionary position in society.
The movement for enlightenment reflected in the pages of the mass
non-Party press, can really thrive only with the working class taking
its place and providing all those who are concerned and discontented
with the existing situation with the advanced fighting positions, that
is by setting the agenda for the working class and its allies to create
a modern society based on a modern system.
Weekly takes this opportunity to congratulate all those who
have contributed to the strengthening and consolidation of the mass
Party press and the mass non-Party press. We call on you to continue to
provide it with support and expand it at this time when it is crucial
that the working class movement further develop its independent
politics and use its voice and organizing power to mobilize the broad
masses of the people calling for democratic renewal.
Resident Status for All!
On August 23, working people across the country took a bold stand in
defence of the rights of all in pickets and other actions demanding Status
for All! Actions organized by the Migrant Rights Network
took place in cities and towns from coast to coast: on the Halifax
Peninsula, in Sherbrooke, Montreal, Ottawa, Sudbury, Toronto, Niagara
Falls, Windsor, Regina and Vancouver. The Migrant Rights Network is an
umbrella group of nearly fifty migrant rights organizations.
main focus of the Cross Canada Day of Action was to demand once again
that Canada uphold the rights of all migrants to Canada and grant
status immediately to the 1.6 million people living here without
permanent resident status. Permanent resident status must be recognized
so that all migrants have the basis for a dignified and secure life.
The call out for
the actions said, "For too long, those of us without permanent resident
status have been unable to get universal services, or speak back
against bad bosses and power structures. COVID-19 has exacerbated our
crisis. We have lost lives and livelihoods. We have been excluded from
receiving the support we need. We need a single-tier society where
everyone in the country has the same rights and opportunities, and that
means full and permanent immigration status for all. No more racism, no
more deaths, no more exploitation, STATUS NOW!"
the Halifax area the action took place over two days in eight locations
on the Halifax Peninsula, with the message of postering and flyering at
farmers' markets on August 22 that "Migrant workers are part of our
community!" Among the actions on August 23 was one outside the
Northwood seniors' residence where so many workers and residents were
infected with COVID-19 and 53 residents died.
Montreal, festive marches were organized in several neighbourhoods --
Montréal-Nord, Parc Ex, Côte-des-Neiges and
downtown -- to mobilize the communities around the demand "Status for
In Ottawa an event was held in front of the
Immigration and Refugee Board offices in answer to the call of the
Migrant Workers Alliance for Change.
action outside the Immigration and Refugee Board and Canada Border
Services Agency offices included the installation of a human clock to
emphasize "We are DONE WAITING! The Time for Status for All is NOW!"
Among the speakers was Gabriel Flores, a migrant farmworker who was
fired from his job because he stood up for his and fellow workers'
health and safety after one of his workmates contracted COVID-19 and
died. He pointed out that migrant workers are put in the untenable
position of working in dangerous conditions under threat of deportation
if they refuse. Other speakers included an international student, a
careworker and a member of Migrante Canada.
thirty people participated in the Niagara Falls action at the Niagara
Detention Centre which is used to detain asylum seekers and
undocumented migrants. A speaker at the action pointed out that
seasonal agricultural workers have long been organizing for their
rights, with successful sit-down and slow-down strikes, speaking out
against abuse and holding agri-businesses accountable.
Windsor, where migrant farm workers in nearby Leamington and Kingsville
have been hard-hit by COVID-19 due to the reprehensible living and
working conditions they endure, and government refusal to protect them,
65 people rallied in front of the offices of Immigration, Refugees and
Citizenship Canada to call for permanent resident status for migrants.
They were told that migrant farm workers were appreciative of all the
support and love they have been receiving from other working people and
their communities at this difficult time. Participants were informed
that $50,000 had so far been raised from unions and some other
community groups and individuals to acquire personal protective
equipment to give to agri-food workers since many employers are not
supplying them with it, and are not being required to do so either by
the province. They were also told that volunteers continue to deliver
boxes of food to migrant workers who are self-isolating in area hotels,
to supplement the inadequate meals many were receiving from the Red
Cross who the government had contracted to look after the food needs of
The action organized by the
University of Regina Students' Union at MP Michael Kram's office
demanded permanent resident status for international students under the
conditions of the pandemic. Many international students have not been
able to find summer jobs and some cannot currently return to their
country because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most are wondering how they
will find the money to pay their tuition, which is around three times
higher than that paid by Canadian citizens.
Vancouver event was centred at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada
office. To respect physical distancing requirements only a few people
were at the information table while others came by to pick up posters
which they put up around the city. One of the organizers, Nayeli
Jimenez, explained to a representative of Workers' Forum that
the aim was to mobilize the community behind the demand for full
immigration status for all migrant workers in Canada. She pointed out
that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation of temporary foreign
workers, which was already bad, even worse as these workers lack the
protection that those with permanent resident status have. Commenting
on the deportation of two Mexican farm workers who broke the employer's
rules by receiving food and clothing from community members in the
Okanagan, she said this shows that all workers need full immigration
status so that they can stand up to such violations of their rights,
access the communities they are living in, and be able to change
Across the country, migrant workers and
their supporters pledged to step up their organizing to defend the
rights of migrants and those without status and to achieve permanent
resident status for all so that all migrants, who are part of the
Canadian working class, can live with dignity.
Full Status for All Now!
Defend the Rights of All!
More than 200
people responded to the call Stand Up For Dignity at Peace Park, in
front of the Quebec government's Ministry of Immigration, Francization
and Integration offices in Montreal on August 22. They were there to
tell the Legault government that its newly announced "special program"
for asylum seekers is extremely restrictive and unacceptable, as it
excludes thousands upon thousands of essential workers without status
who risked their lives and those of their families.
"special program" announced by both the federal and Quebec governments
on August 14 includes only designated occupations, such as orderlies,
nurses, nurses' aides and patient service associates, assistant
orderlies and certain home support workers.
Dubé of Extinction Rebellion said, "As a racialized person
living in Quebec, I find myself once again in conflict with the
appalling decisions of the Quebec government. What kind of example is
this giving to us youth? What kind of values is this teaching us,
whereby essential workers who made all kinds of sacrifice are being
treated as disposable, are being abandoned and deprived of status? This
mentality of exclusion is instilled in our society, in this racist and
colonialist Quebec system. The message being conveyed is that those who
worked during the pandemic at the risk of their own lives and those of
their families, must now live in uncertainty as to their own future. We
youth are not interested in building that kind of society."
Launay of Quebec Is Us Too, an organization fighting for just and
inclusive immigration in Quebec, pointed to the glaring contradiction
where Premier Legault thanked all of Quebec's essential workers during
the pandemic, "yet there's an attempt to thank as few workers as
possible by way of a status in Canada." Adding that those who enabled
Quebec to continue to function are left without proper access to health
care themselves, she asked: "What image of Quebec is Mr. Legault
attempting to present to the rest of Canada?" Addressing herself
directly to the Premier and his Immigration Minister, she told them:
"It is your responsibility to keep us safe, to respect and recognize
our human rights. I am ashamed of my government!" Launay concluded that
in the second wave of the coronavirus, "these workers will still be
there, as they cannot afford not to...work."
really imaginable that the society can function without grocery clerks,
without people getting up every day at 5:00 am to go to work at Olymel,
or without those who prepare meals for our seniors?" asked Olivier
Lachance of Socialist Alternative. He pointed to the need to "build
upon the power struggle so that status is obtained for all, along with
improved working and living conditions."
Torres, a social activist, stressed that the movement's demand of
status for all is what all human beings require to live in dignity,
equality and security. "Why is it that immigrants must risk their
lives?" she asked and encouraged everyone to speak out in support of
these vulnerable workers. She concluded, that Quebec belongs to "all
those who are building it, who are contributing to it. We are all
Guillaume Cliche-Rivard of the Quebec
Immigration Lawyers Association (AQAADI) noted that this was not his
organization's first fight with the Legault government. He then
referred back to the Legault government's Quebec Experience Program
reform, recalling that the government had been forced to revise it
twice because of public outcry, and that although its final version was
"far from perfect," it was a lot better than the original.
government is listening," he commented, "and if the pressure mounts
from all sectors of the society, as we are seeing today, there can and
will be results. So, don't stop fighting, don't stop the struggle,
demand regularization, you deserve it and we will be there with you
during the entire endeavour."
President of Stand Up For Dignity, described the fight being waged as a
"struggle for dignity, for real change and the granting of permanent
residence for all essential workers."
He noted that
Quebec's "guardian angels" have many faces. He said that they are not
only orderlies, they are also maintenance workers, security guards,
they're in the warehouses, they're drivers, they make deliveries. In
short, he said, "they are all the workers who were there every day
during the pandemic."
Addressing the Premier, he
said that the heart of the Quebec people is not properly appreciated.
He noted that Quebec "is a society with high ideals, with values of
justice, respect, equity, values of human dignity." He said the
Premier's "position in this file is one of the most fractious" and he
has imposed "an improvised, mean, unjust" program, creating division
among essential workers who were unified in the face of the
coronavirus. "Your government is determined to cover up that precious
contribution made by a good number of workers.... Your government has
delivered a program devoid of humanity, poorly put together and
disconnected from reality. Your evaluation of essential workers on a
case-by-case basis defies all logic."
seniors survive through care alone?" he asked. "Why eliminate food
sector workers? It was they who allowed us to eat, thereby proving
their essential role."
"Mr. Legault and
[Immigration Minister] Ms. Girault, how can you say that they were not
at risk ..." he asked, "when dozens of employees contracted the virus
at their workplace during their shift? Need we remind you that meat
cutting and meat processing have nothing to do with tele-working."
He further noted that most of these essential workers without
status "have been carrying on within conditions akin to modern
slavery," which he said "is why many Quebeckers born here are not
willing to accept to do what these people are consenting to do for
their families. However, they are also doing it for their extended
Cayo pointed to
the "ever-growing profound suffering and deception of these workers,"
in the face of government indifference. These workers, he said,
continue to be treated as "second class citizens, despite their huge
contribution." Society, he continued, "is being eroded through the
exploitation of these people by agencies and their ill treatment at the
Addressing himself to the government,
he added, "The disgraceful treatment of these workers and the fact that
their congested neighbourhoods have been turned into precarious
breeding grounds for the disease is your doing, as they were not even
provided with masks."
"The attitude of our
governments," Cayo stated, "which continue to delay the regularization
of these workers, does not reflect our society's profound values. We
must go into action until such time as things progress and there is a
satisfactory program in place for the granting of permanent residence
for all essential workers."
concluded, "In order to negotiate, a relationship of power is needed.
We must unite, as our strength lies in our number."
On August 8,
some 250 protesters participated in a rally outside Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau's constituency office in Montreal, demanding status for
all migrants and that nobody be left behind. The action anticipated
announcements by the federal and Quebec governments that provide the
possibility of permanent status to only a small section of the
essential workers who continue to work during the pandemic. The event's
main organizer was Solidarity Across Borders.
action began with representatives from Solidarity Across Borders
explaining how those without permanent status are pushed into hard
labour under dangerous and dismal working conditions, without health
care, benefits, or emergency relief. In particular during the pandemic,
while many Canadians were provided the opportunity to stay home and
protect themselves, they were forced to face the dangers and thus
allowed Canadian society to continue functioning at the risk of their
"All we want is
to live in dignity and be safe," said one of these workers, noting that
the undocumented continue to be excluded from all government programs,
such as employment insurance, health care, emergency benefits, social
assistance and a work permit, amongst other things.
as if we don't exist," said another. "We have worked outdoors as
security guards in -40 degree weather, made masks for everyone, cleaned
private and public residences, worked at grocery stores, as care givers
[...], in the fields, in meat-processing plants etc. both before and
during the pandemic. We're continuously placed in harm's way to pay the
rent and our expenses. We even pay taxes!"
that people apply as refugees for good reason and asserting that no one
should be left behind, one worker remarked: "Refugees, students, farm
workers, care workers, we are all working and should not be
criminalized." Commenting that many have been living in Quebec for over
a decade, he added: "We're being neglected. We are part of this
society. We left our families and our homes without anyone to take care
of them, putting ourselves and them at risk. Now it's time to take care
of us. This urgency has come because of the virus ... we are not
objects that you throw away after using them. We are people, we deserve
dignity and respect... We are all essential. All is all!"
originally from Cameroon said: "My status is precarious. I'm an
orderly. Recently I was assigned to health screening... I've done all
kinds of painful, difficult and dangerous essential work over the past
four years." She spoke of the pain that comes with work in cold-storage
rooms or in fields for eight hours without the time to even stand up
and stretch. She demanded that the discrimination being meted out
against these workers and attempts to divide them be brought to an end.
"All human beings have the right to equality, respect, dignity, to the
same privileges in building a better world."
are the backbone of this country, of its economy," said another,
commenting that that backbone must be "given an honest priority."
A machine operator employed in the agri-food industry
remarked: "What we realize today is that the government is attempting
to divide workers by saying that a certain category of workers, the one
that provides care is more important than the one that feeds." Despite
the fact that he and many others worked both before as well as during
the pandemic, he commented: "When we arrive here, the government gives
us a work permit that it is possible to renew year after year after
year after year. However, they refuse to give us a status so that we
can live calmly, peacefully, freely and in dignity; so that families
can be reunited."
"Today we are experiencing a
modern form of slavery," he continued. "It's as if you're one of the
machines, you must work without letup. Everyone's stressed out!"
Wilner Cayo, President of Stand Up For Dignity, stated: "The
next three weeks are going to be critical. The government is preparing
to make an announcement on regularization. However, if we're not
careful, that announcement may very well involve only a small number of
people, leaving many other essential workers who have risked their
lives behind." He went on to say that recently, he had met with migrant
workers employed by Olymel, a Canadian meat-packing and food processing
company. He informed that these workers are picked up by a yellow bus
and driven to the company's plants and slaughterhouses in different
towns. "They never stopped working during the pandemic," he remarked,
"although others were provided with relief. These people must also be
recognized and given permanent residency."
first, he explained, his organization had only called for permanent
residence for those working in CHSLDs (long-term care facilities) and
seniors' residences. However, "as our relations developed amongst all
our friends and the other organizations, we understood that without
these people who work in the fields, in food processing, as security
guards, those in the CHSLDs and seniors' residences would not be able
to function. We are all essential."
mistake," he continued, "they will have no other choice than to listen
to us. The more we exert pressure, the more they will have to listen to
us. Together, it's possible!"
André, of the Action Committee on Non-Status Persons, also
encouraged everyone to step up their struggle. "How many of us came
here in search of a life, of hope? And you deserve it, you pay for it
each and every day when you venture out and take risks. You and those
who came before you have enriched Quebec's culture. We no longer have
to prove anything," he stated.
then invited everyone to participate in Stand Up for Dignity's
encampment outside Prime Minister Trudeau's constituency office, which
began August 9, to send the message to the Trudeau government that its
present treatment of Canada's thousands upon thousands of migrant
workers is criminal indeed.
Close to three months after having committed to looking into
how to thank asylum seekers for providing care to seniors during the
COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has finally announced a
special program for certain essential workers.
temporary measure "will provide a pathway to permanent residency for
asylum claimants working in the health-care sector during the COVID-19
Under that measure, "asylum claimants
across the country who are working on the front lines providing direct
care to patients in health-care institutions will be able to apply for
permanent residency" provided they meet the criteria. The exception
here is Quebec, as those wishing to settle there will require a Quebec
Selection Certificate. The approach, claims the federal government,
"recognizes those with precarious immigration status who are filling an
urgent need and putting their own lives at risk to care for others in
As with all applicants for humanitarian
and compassionate consideration, immediate family members (spouse and
dependents) of the principal applicant are to be included in the
application and granted permanent residence if the application is
approved. Those who have been found ineligible to make an asylum claim,
or who have withdrawn or abandoned their claims, would be excluded from
To qualify, individuals must meet all of
the following criteria:
have claimed asylum before March 13, 2020;
- were issued a work permit after
they made a claim for asylum;
- have worked in the health-care
sector, in health institutions (for example, hospitals, long-term care
homes, home care through an organization or agency, assisted living
have worked in a designated occupation for no less than 120 hours
between March 13, 2020 and August 14, 2020. The designated occupations
that are included in this special measure are orderlies, nurses,
nurses' aides and patient service associates, assistant orderlies and
certain home support workers;
- demonstrate six months of
experience in the designated occupation before being granted permanent
residence. Applicants will have until August 31, 2021 to acquire this
have a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ),
if wishing to reside in Quebec;
- meet existing admissibility
requirements, including those related to criminality, security and
At a press conference in
Montreal on August 14 to announce his government's "special program"
for yet another "particular category" of refugee claimants,
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said amongst other things: "We are
here today to recognize these asylum claimants who, without even the
promise of status in Canada and without any certainty, mobilized
themselves at a time when we were the most in need." He continued,
"These people overcame huge adversity just to come here, often fleeing
conflict, war and persecution. They were attracted to
Canada, by a simple but lasting promise that they could live
in peace, raise their families and build a better life."
"However, there's nothing easy about the journey of fulfilling that
promise, even though Canada is recognized as a world leader in
resettlement. Our own history has sadly been tainted by injustices that
have been visited upon those seeking safe harbour in Canada. We must
always reflect on these lessons of history and ask ourselves: can we do
"Today offers us such an opportunity, for
we are here to acknowledge an exceptional group of asylum seekers, many
of whom live right here in Montreal.
people who themselves are vulnerable because of their history, but who
were ready to place their own health and safety at risk to save the
lives of others.
"These are people who were there
hour after hour, day after day, month after month to work in hospitals
and in long-term care and retirement homes, where COVID-19 struck the
hardest. And it is these people who have supported our health care
workers and who chose to contribute by assisting seniors, the sick and
those fighting for their lives since the beginning of the pandemic.
"They put themselves at risk and we are grateful for their
service, for their sacrifice and for their instinct to put the needs of
the community ahead of all else.
"I know we will
remember their courage and compassion for years to come.
these individuals face an uncertain future in Canada, the current
circumstances merit exceptional measures in recognition of their
exceptional service during the pandemic.
we are introducing a one-time measure that will provide a specific
pathway to permanent residence for asylum claimants working in Canada's
health care sector in recognition of their exceptional contribution
during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Those qualifying for
an assessment within the framework of this temporary program are
refugee claimants, including failed claimants, and those whose claims
are pending and who are working in the health care sector and members
of their families living in Canada. [...]
is, above all else, a nation where we all look out for one another, a
place where people seek to recognize those who put others first, even
if that invites personal risk, even if no one asked them to help out,
even if they did so simply because they felt it was the right thing to
"The Prime Minister made a commitment to the
country with regard to a means to recognize such dedication by asylum
seekers who chose to act to uphold our collective effort nationally in
support of all those fighting against COVID-19. Today we are respecting
that commitment. This is about an exceptional measure, for exceptional
times in recognition of exceptional service..."
At a press
conference in Montreal on August 14 announcing the federal government's
program providing a pathway to permanent residence for some essential
workers during the pandemic, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino was
asked why the government had not included security guards and
Mendicino responded that the
program's aim "is to place the focus on asylum seekers that had worked
within a high risk environment" such as in hospitals and seniors' homes.
The Minister of Immigration was also asked if he could give an
estimate as to the number of workers who would benefit from the program.
"As we are placing the focus on designated professions," he
responded, "there is no precise number today."
journalist insisted that the Minister try to be more precise about
whether the measure would be covering a hundred or a thousand people,
to which Mendicino replied that for the moment he was unable to do so.
The Minister was also asked whether those whose refugee claims
had already been heard and refused by the Immigration and Refugee Board
of Canada would be able to have their files revisited.
I don't think so," Mendicino replied, adding "This is only to be able
to create a bit of flexibility for asylum claimants who had submitted a
claim under a different process, but it's very specific, the criteria
are there to create a framework for the program." This appears to
contradict what he said earlier in the press conference that those
qualifying for an assessment under the new program would include
He was also
asked if the program could be expanded eventually to include other
types of occupations in the health care sector outside of care.
"It's a special program for this group," he said, "However, we
know that there are other groups who contributed to responding to
COVID-19 such as foreign workers, in particular those in the
agricultural sector where there are also risks and as the Prime
Minister has said, this foreign worker program must be improved."
Might there, then, be another announcement with regard to
temporary foreign workers in the agricultural sector, he was then asked.
"Listen," he responded "we've injected a lot of money and
resources and support for foreign workers, to the tune of more than
$100 million to introduce supports for foreign workers and we will
continue discussing with that group, however today this is [about] a
very particular program with a very particular focus on refugee
The same reporter then clarified that
he was specifically referring to maintenance and other essential
"This is a special program for
asylum claimants," Mendicino shot back.
"So then it
will not be expanded?"
"No" he replied.
already spoken with people who were involved in this, helping asylum
seekers and they say the criteria is extremely strict," commented
another reporter. "For example, it doesn't include people who may have
begun working in April, for example, in health care as well as those
who may have actually gotten sick with COVID-19 because of the work
that they do. Can you explain why the criteria is as strict as it is?"
Said Mendicino: "We really wanted to place an emphasis on the
exceptional contributions of the asylum seekers who put themselves at
the greatest risk by working in hospitals, in long-term care homes, and
that was really the focus, the genesis of this program. We had a number
of conversations with the Quebec government and other stakeholders as
well, to really understand how it is that we could include as many as
possible, but really the focus was on the risk, and with regards to the
issue as to whether or not somebody may have become ill with COVID-19,
we're continuing to work with the government of Quebec to be sure that
any disruption in that time frame does not count against them as a
discount as they apply for eligibility. So that's an ongoing detail
that we are continuing to have discussions about."
same journalist noted that the estimated number of people who will be
affected by the program was around a thousand, commenting that "this is
actually a very minor group, a very small announcement!"
I would say that this is an important announcement," the Minister
retorted. "And for every person that is going to be accepted under it,
it will be a life-changing moment, not only for them, but for their
spouses and for their children. And we shouldn't dismiss that and we
know that this is something [...] that will resonate with the
community. Because there are those who did contribute, who did put
themselves in harm's way, notwithstanding the fact that they are among
the most vulnerable. As I mentioned in my remarks, the asylum seekers
who came to Canada had to overcome great adversity just to get here and
once here, looking around at their community, asked themselves 'How can
I give back?' You know, they may not have had that piece of paper in
their hand that said that they had permanent residence status or are a
Canadian citizen, but they demonstrated a uniquely Canadian quality,
which is that they were prepared to fight back, give back at a time
when we needed them the most. And that's the point of this program.
This is a significant and historic announcement and every person who is
going to be accepted under it will, I think, remember this day for
quite some time to come."
On August 14, in tandem with the federal government's announcement of
its "Pathway to Permanent Residency" temporary measure, the Quebec
government announced its "Special Program for Asylum Seekers during the
COVID-19 period." Quebec's Ministry of Immigration, Francization and
Integration has confirmed "the upcoming adoption of a new immigration
program" in Quebec that "will allow asylum seekers who provided direct
care to patients and seniors since the start of the health crisis" to
settle in Quebec permanently.
The Ministry states
that the purpose of the program is "to thank asylum seekers who
provided direct care during the pandemic to patients and seniors, by
making it easier for them to obtain their permanent residency. Those
awaiting a decision about their refugee status and who have been denied
will be able to take advantage of this program, if they meet the
Family members "who are here
in Canada with the asylum seeker can also be included in the
The date on which the program comes
into effect "will be announced at a later date."
government must render its decision before the program can come into
effect. All information about this future program,
particularly selection conditions, are subject to change and will
therefore be announced on a preliminary and informative basis,
pending decisions required to enact the regulation that will bring the
program into effect."
To be eligible for the
program, applicants domiciled in Quebec must first meet the conditions
of the federal program, meaning that "they applied for asylum before
March 13 and obtained a work permit after their application for asylum."
To be selected by Quebec, they must also meet the following
- have worked in Quebec for at least
120 hours between March 13, 2020 and August 14, 2020, in one of the
eligible occupations, in a public or private health facility or for a
social economy or private homecare enterprise;
have acquired at least six months' full-time work experience in Quebec
or 750 hours (acquired full time or part time) in one of the eligible
occupations, in a public or private health institution or for a social
economy or private homecare enterprise, before or during the duration
of the special immigration program.
above-mentioned selection conditions must be met no later than August
Specific measures are also to be set out
for certain exceptional cases, in particular for asylum seekers who
contracted COVID-19 while working in health care. These measures would
also apply to the families in Quebec of asylum seekers who worked in
healthcare and died due to COVID-19.
occupations related to the delivery of health care are:
- nursing coordinators and
supervisors (NOC 3011);
registered nurses (NOC 3012);
- licensed practical nurses (NOC
aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413);
- home support workers (NOC 4412:
for occupations that involve providing direct care only).
permanent residency has been obtained, applicants can send for their
family abroad under the family reunification program.
ceiling will be established "since the objective of this program for
permanent application is to show gratitude to asylum seekers for their
important contribution working in the health sector during the
No fees will be charged for submitting
an application in Quebec, although fees will be charged by Immigration,
Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
statement was released by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health
Officer, on August 27, 2020.
been 126,417 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,094 deaths. 89
per cent of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada tested an
average of almost 48,000 people daily over the past week with 0.7 per
cent testing positive. Currently, Canada is testing more than 140
people for every positive case. An average of just over 400 new cases
have been reported daily during the most recent seven days.
public health authorities and Canadians continue with our collective
effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, we are closely monitoring
disease activity indicators including daily case counts, number of
cases hospitalized and the percentage of people testing positive in
order to inform, adjust and adapt our actions as needed.
we continue to have new cases and clusters reported, with recent
increased activity in provinces west of Ontario, nationally the average
daily cases counts have remained at or below 500 cases since mid-June.
This indicates that local public health authorities are continuing to
keep COVID-19 spread under manageable control. Nevertheless, a slow
increase in daily case counts can quickly get out of hand. If we don't
all maintain recommended public health practices, we could quickly move
out of the slow burn safe zone into uncontrolled epidemic growth.
Keeping the slow burn is not something public health can do
alone. In addition to physical distancing, frequent handwashing and
wearing of non-medical masks, where appropriate, we must all keep our
number of contacts low. With COVID-19 circulating across Canada and
worldwide, an exposure can occur at any time and in any place. Fewer
contacts means that when an exposure does occur, the work of testing
and isolating cases and tracing and quarantining contacts to interrupt
transmission and keep the overall infection rate low does not become
unmanageable for local public health authorities.
has a part to play; we are all firefighters in keeping COVID-19 at a
slow burn. There are tried and true public health practices that will
keep us on the slow burn, but they are only assured to work if we all
remain vigilant and don't give in to "COVID fatigue." You can find
additional information and guidance to increase your COVID-19 know-how
on ways to reduce your risk of getting infected and spreading the virus
to those you care about here.
Anniversary of Vietnam's August Revolution and National Day
20, the Canada Vietnam Friendship Society hosted a celebration to mark
the 75th Anniversary of the August Revolution that overthrew the
Japanese militarists and French colonialists and culminated with
Vietnam's declaration of independence. Ho Chi Minh formally issued the
Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945, which is now known as
Vietnam's National Day.
The Toronto celebration,
with limited participation due to COVID-19, was all the more
significant because of the presence of His Excellency the Ambassador of
the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Canada, Pham Cao Phong.
national anthems of Canada and Vietnam opened the proceedings. A solemn
minute's silence was then observed to mark the recent passing of former
Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Le Kha Phieu.
Condolences for this loss of an outstanding Vietnamese hero and leader
was extended to the Vietnamese people through His Excellency Ambassador
The keynote presentation for the celebration
was given by Professor Nguyen Dai Trang, an internationally recognized
author and expert on the life of Ho Chi Minh and the history of
Vietnam. Professor Nguyen noted that on the 75th anniversary of the
August Revolution and National Day the Vietnamese people look back with
pride at their historic liberation of their country under the
leadership of President Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Party of Vietnam;
as well as the achievements of the last 75 years, realized by the
Vietnamese people through their own efforts. The Socialist Republic of
Vietnam today thrives as a modern country playing a positive role in
Nguyen also touched on her own work over the last 25 years to
popularize the historical legacy of President Ho Chi Minh and his
inspiration not only to the Vietnamese people but the peoples of the
world. By relying on the lessons of the last 75 years she said, the
future of Vietnam looks bright and prosperous.
Excellency Ambassador Pham then addressed the meeting. He noted the
historic importance of the August Revolution and the Declaration of
Independence by President Ho Chi Minh 75 years ago, marking Vietnam as
the first country in Asia to gain its freedom and independence from
colonial rule. This in turn served to inspire the independence
struggles of the peoples of Asia and other continents.
Pham also cited the close links between the people and government of
Vietnam in the successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic at the first
stage and that the government took immediate measures with the recent
outbreak in Danang. He expressed hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will
soon be defeated through the cooperation of all countries and people.
His Excellency noted as well that under the leadership of the Communist
Party of Vietnam, the country has successfully built its economy and
trade relations with other countries. He expressed appreciation of the
strengthening of bilateral ties between Canada and Vietnam over the
last 50 years and predicted that this relationship will grow.
celebration included a power point presentation of a virtual museum
called "Ho Chi Minh Arts Online" created by members of the Canada
Vietnam Friendship Society. The online museum was developed to promote
writings, poems, historic photographs and artwork concerning the life
of President Ho Chi Minh and his legacy to the entire world.
the formal presentation, the participants engaged in discussion, viewed
the display of students' art and took the opportunity to get a signed
copy of one of Professor Nguyen's recent books on Ho Chi Minh.
In his closing remarks, Philip Fernandez, the emcee and a
founding member of the Canada Vietnam Friendship Society, invited
everyone to join the Canada Vietnam Friendship Society and its work to
promote fraternal ties and exchanges between the Vietnamese people and
Canadian people for mutual benefit and for peace. He noted "Our links
and ties run deep with the daughters and sons of the new Vietnam,
integrated as one in the Canadian polity, enriching our society, our
culture, our life and contributing to the human-centred society that we
as Canadians want to see for our country."
Celebrate the 75th
Anniversary of the August Revolution
and Vietnam National
Wednesday, September 2 --
by the Canada-Vietnam Friendship Society
information and to register contact: email@example.com
of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Canada, H.E. Pham Cao Phong
Aspiration for Independence and Freedom: Ho Chi Minh's Life and Work
August Revolution and Vietnam's Independence
Presentation of the Ho Chi Minh Virtual Arts Museum
Support for the Palestinian People and Their Right to Be
The Days of
Resistance for Palestine between August 7 and 9, brought
together thousands of organizers and supporters of justice for
Palestine around the world to stand with the Palestinian people, their
resistance to colonization, annexation and occupation and their
struggle for justice, return and liberation throughout Palestine, from
the river to the sea.
Despite attacks from
high-level Israeli officials that aimed to suppress these actions,
noting that they had "warned Western governments" about the protests,
over 100 organizations joined Samidoun's call for the Days of
Resistance, with an array of diverse actions taking place around the
world. These events included protests, car caravans, art and cultural
interventions and public educational events, all in support of the
Palestinian people and their right to resist.
on for a detailed report on the events and actions around the world.
Thursday, August 6– Confronting Elbit
The Days of Resistance kicked off with a powerful direct action on
Thursday, August 6, organized by new British network Palestine
Action at the office of Israeli arms manufacturer
Elbit Systems in London.
Activists covered the reception [area] and outside the Elbit offices on
the 6th floor in paint, using stencils and spraying graffiti stating
"Shut Elbit Down," "Tested on Palestine, used in Kashmir" and "We will
be back." They declared, "Your profits are covered in Palestinian
blood!" Elbit supplied 85 per cent of the Israeli military's drones
used in the bombardment of Gaza in 2014 and markets them to the world
based on their "success" in use against Palestinian civilians.
"We will not stop, and we will continue to
escalate our actions until Elbit Systems' complicity in war crimes and
apartheid here in the UK are shut down," Palestine Action organizers
August 7 – Taking the Streets
On Friday, August 7, the Days of Resistance officially launched as
Mohammed Khatib, Europe coordinator of the Samidoun Palestinian
Prisoner Solidarity Network, addressed a "people's kitchen" in
Copenhagen at an event organized by the Stop Annekteringen af
Palæstina 2020 (Stop Annexation of Palestine 2020) coalition,
including the Internationalt Forum.
The event was attended mostly
by youth activists in Copenhagen, and included a comprehensive
discussion of the Palestinian struggle as well as the situation of
Palestinian prisoners. A large banner highlighting the campaign to free
Georges Ibrahim Abdallah and Ahmad Sa'adat framed the room.
Also on Friday, August 7, activists with Alkarama: Palestinian Women's
called for a protest that marched through the streets of Madrid in
solidarity with the Palestinian people and their resistance.
Marchers carried a banner
demanding freedom for political prisoners as well as highlighting
Palestinian prisoners, including student prisoners like Mays Abu Ghosh
and Ruba Fahmi.
"Our struggle against Zionism and colonialism continues, until the
return of all Palestinian refugees to our homeland, the liberation of
the land and the people and the construction of a democratic society in
all of Palestine, a society of justice, freedom and equality," declared
Jaldia Abubakra of Alkarama, presenting the statement of the
New York City
In New York City, the NY4Palestine
Coalition, led by Within Our Lifetime -- United
for Palestine alongside member organizations Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return
Muslims for Palestine -- NJ; Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner
Solidarity Network and many community endorsers, organized
a massive Day of Resistance protest, marching through the streets of
Brooklyn from the heart of the Palestinian community in Bay Ridge.
The rally drew together
hundreds in the Arab and Palestinian communities as well as an
outpouring of internationalist solidarity from youth representing other
neighbourhoods and struggles.
Las Vegas, Nevada
In Las Vegas, Nevadans for Palestinian Human Rights
joined with Jewish
Voice for Peace -- Las Vegas and Las Vegas Democratic Socialists
of America to organize a rally and car caravan for the
Days of Resistance, headed by a large mobile billboard truck carrying
bright messages in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and the
Days of Resistance.
August 8 – Actions Around the World
continued on Saturday, August 8 as the Palestinian Youth
Movement came together with Al-Awda, the Palestine
Right to Return Coalition for a rally and car caravan in
Anaheim, California. Protesters highlighted Palestinian joint struggle
with liberation movements around the world, especially the Black
Liberation Movement, and emphasized the demand to defund and abolish
Also, on Saturday, August 8, the Alliance for Water Justice
in Palestine protested in Porter Square, Cambridge, to raise
awareness and attention against Israeli apartheid, focusing
particularly on the recent arrest of Palestinian human rights defenders
like Mahmoud Nawajaa of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National
Committee in Palestine.
In Berkeley, California, the Palestinian Youth Movement
organized a banner drop at the I-80 Bike Bridge over the interstate,
which included participants on foot, bikes and cars, carrying the
message of a free Palestine from the river to the sea. Dozens of
Palestinian youth and their supporters participated in this action that
caught the eyes and the attention of thousands of motorists.
Days of Resistance march in Dearborn, jointly organized by the Palestinian
Youth Movement and Detroit Will Breathe,
brought members of the Arab, Black, Indigenous and Filipino struggles
for justice together to march against Zionist land theft and the global
fight against racism, colonialism and the military industrial complex.
the Palestine Youth Movement noted, "From Dearborn and Detroit to
Palestine, Lebanon and beyond, we stand firm against imperialism."
march reflected collective resistance to all forms of oppression and
In Vancouver, Samidoun joined the Canada Palestine Association,
BDS Vancouver Coast Salish Territories, Independent
Jewish Voices UBC and more, including Queers
Against Israeli Apartheid Vancouver for a protest march and
action highlighting international struggles against imperialism and
collective resistance against Zionism and imperialism.
emphasized the ongoing struggle for freedom in Kashmir, the movement of
the people of the Philippines, Israeli complicity in repressing
people's rights in Colombia, as well as the settler-colonial
anti-Indigenous alliance between Canada and the Israeli state.
The protest also
marched to London Drugs and the BC Liquor Store to highlight boycott
campaigns, specifically targeting Teva Pharmaceuticals, HP technology
products and Israeli settlement wines, sold in provincial stores
despite being produced on the occupied lands of the Palestinian West
Bank and Golan Heights.
emphasized that many of the same officials and companies responsible
for the repression of Indigenous sovereignty on Turtle Island are also
involved in profiting from the colonization of Palestine.
August 8, the Collectif
Palestine Vaincra organized a stand for Palestine at metro
Jean-Jaurès in Toulouse as part of the Days of
Resistance, distributing hundreds of flyers and leaflets highlighting
the boycott of Israel and corporations profiting from the colonization
also raised 270 EUR to support the Al-Naqab Center in Bourj al-Barajneh
camp in Lebanon after the devastating explosion in Beirut on August 4.
They carried signs and placards calling for the liberation of
Palestinian political prisoners, especially Ahmad Sa'adat and Khalida
Jarrar, and carried Palestinian and Lebanese flags.
On August 8, activists from Palestine Solidarity Network
Aotearoa -- Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau organized an action
for the Days of Resistance to demand an end to New Zealand's complicity
with Israeli war crimes, calling for New Zealand officials to put an
end to military coordination with the Israeli occupation. They received
many honks of support from passing cars before marching to New Zealand
army headquarters to demand that New Zealand stop purchasing weapons
In Gothenburg, Sweden, organizers with Samidoun Gothenburg
joined with a number of Palestinian and solidarity organizations to
hold a protest, "Palestine will never give up!" at Gustaf-Adolfs-Torg
in central Gothenburg.
highlighted the case of Palestinian child prisoners as well as
supporting Palestinian resistance, especially amid ongoing annexation
threats by the Israeli colonial regime.
Protesters also took to the streets in Malmo, Sweden, gathering at
Stortorget in a rally against annexation organized by the Palestinska
Rättvisecentret i sverige. They gathered to
demand justice for Palestine and stand together against ongoing Israeli
activists continued their actions for the Days of Resistance, as
activists organized a "Free Palestine" banner drop in the city centre
on August 8.
In Manchester, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
organized a protest and stand highlighting solidarity with the
Palestinian resistance, especially the Palestinian prisoners.
gathered in Piccadilly Square to distribute information, highlight
anti-imperialist struggle and build solidarity with the Palestinian
people, including campaigns to boycott complicit British corporations
like Marks and Spencer.
In London, Protest for Palestine
and Victory to the
Intifada organized a demonstration in Kensington as part
of the Days of Resistance.
expressed solidarity and support for fellow liberation struggles, with
speakers from the West Papua movement showing solidarity with Palestine
and building joint struggle at the protest.
In Liverpool, Fight
Racism! Fight Imperialism! organized a stand and protest
action in a busy area of the city, joining the Days of Resistance with
a call for freedom for Palestine and all revolutionary political
prisoners around the world.
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
in Glasgow and the Revolutionary
Communist Group took to the streets to join the Days of
Resistance on August 8.
cheered: "Long Live Palestine! Victory to the Intifada! Freedom for all
Palestinian political prisoners! Zionism is racism!" They highlighted
the cases of Palestinian prisoners, including Ahmad Sa'adat and Georges
action also highlighted the struggle of Irish political prisoners and
those being persecuted by British imperialism in Ireland, demanding
justice for Liam Campbell, Ciaran Maguire and Zack Smyth.
The Brighton and Hove
Palestine Solidarity Campaign organized an action in
Brighton's city centre on Saturday, August 8 for the Days of
Resistance. Participants carried massive Palestinian flags and banners
declaring: "No Annexation, No Occupation" and "Justice for Palestine."
They highlighted the cases of Palestinian political prisoners and human
rights defenders jailed by Israel, calling for freedom and justice for
additional actions also took place on August 8, with XR Peace organizing
a workshop on annexation and resistance in Palestine as part of a peace
and solidarity fast remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Knighton,
Wales, while activists in Long Beach, California, organized a
solidarity stand at the roadside on August 8
and 9 calling for justice
9 August – The Resistance Continues
On Sunday, August 9, the resistance continued as the Culture Work Collective
and For the People
Bloomington in Bloomington, Indiana, collected and
distributed for postering around the city a number of posters and
images created to support the Days of Resistance and the Palestinian
people's struggle for liberation.
Many organizations and activists in Montreal, including the Fondation canado-palestinienne
du Québec, Independent
Jewish Voices, SPHR
for Palestine and the Canadian
Foreign Policy Institute, joined together in a mass
demonstration on Sunday, August 9 to call for an end to the
Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.
joined the march, which included a massive Palestinian flag that
stretched down the street alongside Metro Jarry.
Toronto, the Palestinian
Youth Movement organized a youth art-focused action on
Sunday, August 9 as part of the Days of Resistance, first at Yonge and
Dundas Square and then moving to the steps of Ryerson University.
Participants distributed information about Palestinian political
prisoners and the threatened annexation of Palestine, spoke out about
the ongoing attacks on Palestine and the Palestinian people's continued
resistance and created signs and banners.
also shared Palestinian culture, including plants, food, embroidery,
music and dance, and linked the Palestinian struggle with liberation
movements globally, including the Indigenous struggle for sovereignty
and self-determination and the Black Liberation Movement.
The Days of
Resistance continued in Toulouse as the Collectif Palestine Vaincra
created a mural to salute the Palestinian resistance on Sunday, 9
August. With the word "resistance"/muqawama in Arabic at the centre,
the mural also highlighted various Palestinian figures of resistance:
Ghassan Kanafani, Samira Azzam and Basil al-Araj alongside a map of
Palestine from the river to the sea.
carried Palestinian flags and banners for Samidoun and the Collectif
Palestine Vaincra as they created the mural collectively.
Further actions for the Days of Resistance continued in
Copenhagen, where the Internationalt
Forum -- Middle East Group hosted Mohammed Khatib, Europe
coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, for an
event remembering the legacy of Ghassan Kanafani's revolutionary
cultural work and commitment to Palestinian resistance.
event was attended by Anni Kanafani, Ghassan Kanafani's widow and the
founder of the Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Foundation, which runs
kindergartens and children's programs throughout the Palestinian
refugee camps in Lebanon, as well as Fayez Kanafani, Ghassan Kanafani's
son. Anni Kanafani introduced Mohammed Khatib, noting that Mohammed, as
a child, had attended summer programs organized by the Foundation in
Ain el-Helweh refugee camp.
The event was moderated
by Irene Clausen of the Internationalt Forum, longtime Palestine
organizer and author of the book, The PFLP and Palestine
(published in Danish.)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
In Amsterdam, Samidoun
Nederland organized an action for the Days of Resistance
on Museumplein, which included a discussion of the revolutionary
cultural and political legacies of Ghassan Kanafani and Naji al-Ali.
Participants carried signs in support of Palestinian political
prisoners, including Ahmad Sa'adat and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.
They also joined the large action for Indigenous Peoples' Day,
alongside Makibas Foundation, Free West Papua Campaign, Building the
Baileo and several Kurdish organizations to express anti-colonial and
Midwest SJP and
the Palestinian Youth
Movement organized a Day of Rage in Cleveland on
Sunday, August 9 for the international action days, marching
from Public Square to defend Palestine against colonization and
Online Events Continue the Resistance
The Days of Resistance also included several online events and
actions. Samidoun Network in occupied Palestine, along with Palestinian
Youth Movement, Al Naqab Center and the HIRAK (Palestinian Youth
Mobilization in Berlin) hosted an online webinar with Palestinian
writer Khaled Barakat and Bir Zeit University professor Amira Silmi on
Saturday, August 8, discussing the lives, struggles and revolutionary
legacies of Naji al-Ali and Ghassan Kanafani (in Arabic). Watch the
full video here.
This Video for the
Days of Resistance was created by the Collectif Palestine Vaincra in
Toulouse, France, a member organization of the Samidoun network, which
also organized several events and actions. It highlights the over
100-year history of Palestinian resistance to colonialism, Zionism and
In Brazil, the Frente em Defesa do
Povo Palestino organized an online event remembering Ghassan Kanafani
and expressing their commitment to continued struggle as part of the
Days of Resistance on 8 August. Participants also expressed their
solidarity with the people of Lebanon, especially workers and refugees,
amid the explosion in Beirut and its aftermath. Watch the video (in
BDS Bahrain organized an online event for the Days of
Resistance, "Boycott as a Duty," in which Prof. Abdel-Rasoul Ashour
spoke about the importance of confronting normalization, especially in
the Arab region. Watch the full video in Arabic here.
The We Rise Podcast created a podcast, with interventions,
music and more, for the Days of Resistance, with the theme, "No to
Annexation." The creators noted, "Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner
Solidarity Network has called for all organizations in support of
Palestinian liberation to endorse the "Days of Resistance," in occupied
Palestine and internationally, August 7-9, 2020. In response,
Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) chapters and many organizations across
the nation are participating in actions throughout this weekend."
Listen to the podcast here.
BDS Boston also organized online cultural interventions as
part of the Days of Resistance and Black August, highlighting
Palestinian and Black writings of resistance. The BDS Boston campaign
has featured works by Ghassan Kanafani, Kamal Nasir, George Jackson,
Fadwa Tuqan and more, including a video of "Here we shall stay" by
Tawfiq Zayyad here.
A new organization in Munster, Germany, Palästina
Antikolonial Munster, launched during the Days of Resistance after
organizing a protest on July 25 against annexation and colonization in
Palestine. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes
Palästina Antikolonial Munster and its clear anti-racist,
anti-colonial vision and commitment to the liberation of Palestine.
Samidoun Stockholm also issued a statement for the Days of
Resistance, emphasizing: "This weekend's mobilizations show that
another world is possible. Samidoun Stockholm claims with the utmost
clarity that we also have to intensify our conscious struggle against
imperialism and its lackeys. We extend our warmest greetings of
solidarity to the struggling peoples around the world and we extend our
promise to strengthen practical international solidarity. We demand:
Freedom for all Palestinian prisoners! France and the USA
out of Asia! An end to the Israeli occupation and a free, unified
As the Days of Resistance come to a
close, the Palestinian resistance – and our actions of
struggle – move forward, continue and grow stronger. We must
continue to stand with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian
resistance in all of its forms, to defend Palestine from colonization,
annexation, occupation and apartheid. Together, we organize to confront
imperialism, Zionism and the reactionary regimes that continue to
collaborate with these forces of oppression, and to struggle for
liberation. Internationalist struggle that recognizes our firm
connections of unified struggle against our common oppressors is
central to our movement, including to the struggle to free
revolutionary political prisoners.
We salute all
of the endorsers, organizers, activists and communities involved in
building these protests and actions, and we look forward to continuing
to struggle, hand in hand, for Black liberation, Indigenous liberation,
Palestinian liberation and the liberation of all peoples from
imperialism and colonialism. Every victory of the peoples in struggle
against these forces is a victory for Palestine and for our collective
To join Samidoun or find out more
about how you can get involved with our work, organize a chapter, or
volunteer to support our organizing: contact us via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Samidoun's existing chapters are below. We invite you to join us to
stand with the Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian resistance and
the Palestinian people, with an internationalist vision of struggle,
for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Samidoun Stockholm (Sweden)
Collectif Palestine Vaincra (France)
Samidoun Occupied Palestine
(Palestinian Youth Mobilization, Germany)
are several of the posters developed by people in Palestine and around
the world as part of the Days of Resistance. Click images to enlarge.
access articles individually click on the black headline.)
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